Kevin Price
Filibuster is crucial in fiscal integrity
By Kevin Price
August 8, 2011, the Journal of the American Enterprise Institute has noted a recent effort to end one of the most important parts of the US Senate's abilities to protect the minority from a majority that is quick to spend more in order to garner votes. This type of spending adds to a $14 trillion debt that is booming out of control and it takes away the freedom of individuals to control their own dollars. Furthermore, this same Senate passes bills that add more regulations and laws that only further hampers individual freedoms. The filibuster is an important tool in protecting the minority from the majority.

The Journal notes, "The usual 'coalition' (another dead giveaway term) of labor and Left-activist groups has organized around the banner 'Fix The Senate Now' to advocate changing the Senate's 60-vote filibuster threshold that currently allows the minority party to hold up legislation and key personnel appointments to the judiciary and executive branch."

This group is represented, in the Senate by members of the Democratic Party. Ironically, this is the same group that decried about their "minority rights" just a few years ago when the GOP dominated the White House and both Houses of Congress. The article notes "Never mind the hypocrisy of folks who now lament the filibuster after having defended it from Republican threats to curtail its use against many of President George W. Bush's judicial appointments a few years ago. Majorities are always frustrated when a determined minority uses — and occasionally abuses — the rules to thwart the majority. And it is unquestionably the case that using the once-rare filibuster has become frequent in recent years by both parties, changing the Senate into a chamber now requiring a de facto 60-vote supermajority for nearly everything. Why has this happened? Is changing the rules the right remedy for abuses? And does using the filibuster, even in its frequent form just now, thwart the rightful purposes of our constitutional design, or in fact fulfill them?"

The Founders were committed to the idea of caution in governing and this is why they made it so difficult for the laws to change. They gave the Congress very few powers, as seen in Article I, Section 8. In that section of the Constitution they were given 17 specific powers. To make sure there was no confusion, they noted in the Tenth Amendment that, those items not in the Constitution are to be left to the states and the citizens. When you look into Article V of the Constitution you find a arduous process in getting a Constitutional amendment passed. This was designed to limit the government's role and to make it difficult to pursue change that could harm the minority. The filibuster is a part of that tradition, which protects the minority of today and the majority that could lose that status tomorrow.

© Kevin Price


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Kevin Price

Kevin Price is Publisher and Editor in Chief of

His background is eclectic and includes years of experience in both business and public policy, as well as two decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He was an aide to U.S. Senator Gordon Humphrey (R-NH) and later went on to work in policy areas with some of the nation's leading think tanks including the National Center for Public Policy Research and was part of the Heritage Foundation's Annual Guide to Public Policy Experts... (more)


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